‘Hoppy’ returns to Elkton spot following surgery
— As people traveled into town over the bridge on Bridge Street this week, they may have noticed a familiar face waving and smiling back at them. On Monday, William “Hoppy” Hammond, known to passersby for his daily friendly ritual for almost two decades, returned after several weeks of recuperating from a September knee replacement surgery. While he was gone, Hammond also went through physical therapy and had to be cleared by his doctors to drive before he could return. But Hammond didn’t like taking such a long break and was eager to return because he missed greeting people coming into town and noted that it had been “way too long,” he said.
“(It’s) just wonderful, good for the soul,” he said Monday. “I missed it, I really missed it. This is family.”
During his temporary leave, community members have sent him a “few hundred” get well cards, he said. In addition to the cards, he even received a gift basket from the church he attends. “I was just so appreciative,” Hammond said. In response to the cards, he sent thank you cards back to those with return addresses, but there are many more anonymous notes that will never be returned, he said.
“I’m really sorry I could’t get back to those without return addresses,” Hammond said. He said he plans to come back to his spot the rest of the week, depending on the weather.